Connecticut to offer a $1,000 bonus for individuals re-entering job market

Connecticut governor Ned Lamont announced plans for a "back-to-work" program offering $1,000 for the first 10,000 residents to sign up.

The initiative will give a one-time payment to individuals who have been “long-term unemployed.” Recipients who filed for unemployment before May 30, get hired, and work for 8 consecutive months will be eligible for the bonus.

“We got hit hard by COVID a little over a year ago,” Lamont told Yahoo Finance Live. “We’ve got a lot of folks that are very COVID hesitant.”

The bonus will help provide residents with “a little extra support to pay for childcare, transportation,” he added.

The move comes in the backdrop of a nationwide labor force shortage. The National Federation of Independent Businesses reported in April that a record-high 44 percent of firms have job openings that they could not fill. “Our restaurants, service sector, they need the people,” Lamont said.

In response, several states have enacted policies to help businesses facing labor shortages find workers.

Unlike the growing list of more than 20 states ending their participation in the $300-a-week federal unemployment benefits program within the next few months, the Nutmeg State is keeping the $300 a week policy in place.

75% of adult population vaccinated, governor says

In Connecticut, like most of the country, getting vaccines out has been key to the reopening process.

Seventy-five percent of the state’s adult population has already been vaccinated, Lamont said. Yet the state has experienced some struggles with vaccinating the more sparsely populated, rural areas.

“I worry about a part of eastern Connecticut, a little more rural,” Lamont said. “They've been less likely to be vaccinated. Some of our urban populations, we've got to continue to do a better job of having trusted advocates there.”

In response, the governor has focused efforts on expanding vaccine accessibility in more remote areas. One such effort has been vaccine delivery, where vaccination shots are brought to residents’ homes. “[We’re] doing everything we can to get that number up from 75% to 85%,” he said.

Ihsaan Fanusie is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @IFanusie.

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